Here are my top 10 things you should do in cape town:
(which sums up what I did)
1) Become friend with locals
This is the top one, since what makes a place interesting are the people. It’s not very difficult. Obviously, you’ll meet them everywhere. Just be courageous and start a conversation in a bar, bus, restaurant or simply on the street. I found the people I met here being extremely friendly, very funny and awesome to hang around with. I never felt as a foreigner.
2) Visit Point of good hope & simon’s town
Well well it’s not very impressive, however it’s one of the things you really should have done when you come to cape town. Everyone knows it, everyone want’s to be there at least once. Yet, Simon’s Town is great for the penguins + here is a free tip: you don’t have to spend your money to go on a viewing platform, it’s enough if you just walk along the road. ++ super lekker tip: just before the entrance for the viewing platform there is a wooden fence which you can easily open from the outside. That way brings you closer to penguins and is for free.
3) Hike up the mountains
If you have enough time for several hikes I would recommend to start with a very easy hike: the Woodstock caves or the pipe track. Just to get used to it. Then I would do the Lion’s Head in the evening (which is still my favourite hike) it’s an easy and quick hike. Then of course the Table Mountain, there are many different tracks and I was told that the best one is starting from Kirstenbosch (more chilled than our ~8 hours hike). And if you had fun doing all those hikes you should plan on doing the Devil’s Peak as well.
4) Eat out and eat local food
After hiking you need new calories and when it comes to food, south africa is the best I’ve experienced so far. You should definitively visit the hout bay market on a friday evening for awesome food and live music and the biscuit mill on saturday mornings for live music and awesome food as well. But besides that I can recommend any restaurant with more than three stars on tripadvisor, they are all fabulous. As a special insider tip: the Fire & Ice Hotel with the best chocolate smoothies I’ve ever tasted (be careful not to get too much tho’). When you love live music and students, the great wizoo is a neat place to hang on Thursdays.
5) Visit city center and it’s galleries
There are some free tours you could do to get to know the city center. I can recommend the colorful houses of bo-kaap and the governments park filled with squirrels (bring food). A great possibility to get to know the galleries is every first thursday where they are opened until late in the night, giving out wine and snacks for free. Also look out for the guided free walking tours starting every day on greenmarket square (tip based tours). Lastly, museum wise I didn’t visit many but I can suggest visiting the District Six museum for some history and the planetarium for awesomeness.
6) Go to the Beach
Obviously you’ll do that. Camps Bay is quite nice although the water is very cold. If you like to surf we always went to Gary’s Surf School 34 Beach Road in Muizenberg, it’s very cheap (R100) and you’re likely to get good waves. After surfing you could visit a funny bar called “cape to cuba”, they have great cocktails and the location is very fancy (but still cheap). The girls went on a horse riding in Noordhoek which apparently was very funny as well.
7) Wine Tasting
I did it twice and both times it was amazing. Both times were at the Uitkyk Estate. First time we met Wim there (the bartender) who became a great friend. Afterwards we went wild camping (awesome experience thus illegal and dangerous). Second time was with my girl, we had a lovely picnic (which I can definitively recommend, very delicious) on the wine fields.
8) Whale watching, Shark Diving & Safari
Could be three separate points for sure. No need to get on a boat for whale watching since you’ll see several whales on the waterfront in Hermanus. Shark Diving is controvert for some. They say that it makes the whales lazy and dependent on humans but hey who’s not dependant on someone. Finding a good safari near cape town is difficult. Your best bet would be Kruger park. However, if you can’t make it there (it’s near Joburg), try the inverdoorn nature reserve. That’s where we went and we saw all big five and had a great time. It’s near Ceres.
9) Visit a Township
This is very controvers as well. I’m against tourists going into a township to cuddle some poor kids and thus feeling superior. It’s a disgusting behaviour, people are not animals and this is not a zoo. So try to engage yourself in social projects helping townships (research has to be done here). But if you have no time for that, still want to see a Township without being a dumbass, you should visit Mzoli’s.
10) Enjoy your time
Since our time on earth is short we should enjoy what we do. And this has to be your n#1 not n#10. But things are not always as they are ment to be I guess.
I hope my top 10 was of any help for your stay. PS: Keep in mind to not walk alone at night and you’ll be fine. It’s much less dangerous than you’ll read on the webz. Take care!